It is expected that more than 1 billion new smartphones will use indoor location technologies in 2018, and companies will still have significant opportunities if they have the right technologies and strategies, according to a new Location Technology report published by ABI Research (News - Alert).
Indoor location technology is seen as the the next wave of opportunity in the location industry, according to ABI Research. It is actually Apple’s (News - Alert) acquisition of WiFiSLAM, an indoor GPS start-up that brought smartphone indoor location technologies to the fore. The company reportedly acquired WiFiSLAM for $20 million.
The latest ABI Research report, entitled “Smartphone Indoor Location Technologies,” predicts the adoption of different indoor location technologies. It also notes the companies that are best placed and thus are likely to be successful.
“We see a significant trend towards hybridization, with Wi-Fi, BLE and sensor fusion vita,” said Patrick Connolly, senior analyst at ABI Research.
He said that by 2014, hybrid solutions will have already surpassed standalone indoor location technologies on smartphones, with Wi-Fi and sensor fusion hybrid solutions reaching over 900 million units in 2018.
Dominique Bonte, practice director at ABI Research, said that he is already seeing start-ups pivot out of this space, but there is still huge opportunity for partnerships/acquisitions with major Android (News - Alert) handset vendors, carriers and large application developers.
“Clearly Google is developing its own Wi-Fi indoor location solution; however, it may well open up its indoor location framework, enabling the market to expand much more rapidly,” Bonte said, adding that for IC vendors, with access to the hardware abstraction layer, indoor location innovation is vital for future socket wins.
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. Last year in June, it predicted that indoor location is perfectly positioned to save the retail industry’s burning platform - bricks and mortar, and that competition is emerging between handset-based and dedicated infrastructure-based approaches.